July 16th, 2010
10:22 AM ET
4 years ago

Tea Partier's posting slammed as 'feeble,' 'offensive'



Update 4:41 p.m.: CNN has learned that Williams has removed the version of his blog post that was quoted in this story and replaced it with a "personal note"
to readers.

(CNN) – The war of words between the NAACP and the Tea Party movement has reached a new level, with the spokesman for a national Tea Party organization penning a controversial blog post and a representative of the NAACP calling the post "a feeble attempt at satire" and offensive.

In an effort to mock to the NAACP's recent criticism of the Tea Party movement, Mark Williams, a conservative radio talk show host and spokesman for the Tea Party Express, published a post on his blog that is a mock letter from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous to former President Lincoln.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln," the blog post reads, "We [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

The mock letter continues by taking on several core beliefs and positions of the Tea Party movement including the conservative movement's desire to end bailouts of big business, to reduce the size and scope of government, to reduce government spending and to cut taxes.

"The racist tea parties also demand that the government 'stop the out of control spending,' " the mock letter says. "Again, they directly target [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People. That means we [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

"Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government 'stop raising our taxes' That is outrageous! Totally racist! The tea party expects [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People to be productive members of society, especially when our mission is to convince them that progress is impossible for them based on the color of their skin?"

The mock letter ends by telling Lincoln he was "the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. … Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we say that belong."

Appearing on CNN's "American Morning" on Friday, a representative of the NAACP slammed Williams' blog post.

"It's a feeble attempt at satire and parody that ends up being offensive in the final analysis," Hillary Shelton, the Washington director of the NAACP, said.

Shelton added that Williams' blog post is "yet another distraction from the real issues on the table - the real issues on the table are whether or not racist elements are inside the Tea Party. Our experience, photographs, speeches, and signs and even instances [of racist behavior] tell us that there very well are. And all we are asking, yet again, . . . is that they look from within and repudiate those elements."

Lloyd Marcus, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express who is African-American, defended Williams.

"I know Mark Williams personally. He is not a racist and he is just being satirical to make a point," Marcus said Friday on "American Morning."

Saying he had attended more than 200 Tea Party gatherings across the country, Marcus also insisted that the Tea Party movement is not racist.

"They do not oppose [President Barack] Obama's skin color. They oppose his policies."

The latest dust-up between the conservative grass-roots movement and the long-standing civil rights organization comes after days of back-and-forth between the two sides which began with the NAACP passing a resolution asking the Tea Party movement to condemn racist behavior within its ranks. Several leaders of national Tea Party groups, including Williams, responded by denying the NAACP's accusation.

"The tea party is a truly post-racial movement. Based strictly around the three simple principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market capitalism, the movement is uninterested and uninvolved in the politics of race," the co-founders of Tea Party Patriots wrote in an editorial published earlier this week.

And Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the NAACP should stop "the name-calling."

"Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true," Steele said in a statement.

Steele added, "Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor. They are a diverse group of passionate Americans who want to ensure that our nation returns to founding principles that honor the Constitution, limit government's role in our lives, and support policies that empower free markets and free enterprise."

–CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Tom Jacobus

    With all the true institutional racism that exists elsewhere, the true agenda sticks out here to me. The racist teaparty photos that are on the NAACP web site (they are courtesy of a Democratic Blog) are terrible and should be condemned. Couriously, some are of the same person holding different signs and others are tightly cropped so no telling where they were taken. But given they may be real, I do not think any rational person, teaparty memeber or not, believe that these are nothing more than fringe radicals at most, and in no way reflect the true nature of the teaparty movement. I personally have heard various tea party leaders express condemnation for this sort of activity and in fact, there is a standing $100,000 reward for anyone who has a cell phone or video recording of any such abuse. When it comes to racism and curbing radicals, I think the NAACP needs to reflect inward, and pick battle that should be waged to better America.

    July 16, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. brenda

    If fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market capitalism are the guiding principles of the 'tea party' why aren't they just libertarians? Because libertarians won't deny a woman to have an abortion?

    But – not to sound 'racist' at all, but isn't the NAACP something that ony allows blacks as members? And why – in this year – do they need an organization to advance their 'people'. I think if it was expected of them, then they would achieve whatever success they wanted. Just like all other races. But the NAACP almost gives them an 'out' if you know what I mean.

    And, please don't slam me as a racist. Feel free to slam me as an anti-tea-party-ist. To me, the Tea Party seems to be a bunch of ignorant people. The 'working class' has gotten the biggest tax break in history under Obama and only 7% of the tea partiers know that. They just listen and believe whatever their told.

    July 16, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Bob

    This is good, a case where I don't give a PUFF what either has to say!

    July 16, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Unit34AHunt

    The NAACP. Geesh, what a bunch of whiners!

    July 16, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Jon

    So this org that's mission his to help one race, is cliaming discrimination. Yea that's rich.

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. John from Sacramento, CA

    That was absolutely hillarious! It took a lot of guts from the Tea Party guy Mark Wiliams to post this in today's overly sensitive, politically correct society. He really hit on the hypocrisy in the NAACP and their reverse racist positions.

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. John D

    Whats the difference? Obozo and the Liberal Dems are trying to turn us all into Tax Slaves! The entitlement crowd is chest deep in it. The NAACP is the most racist bunch of bigots on the planet. It's alright for them to call to kill crackers but to have a party that wants government control call racist it the epitome of ignorance! Their whole group should be disbanned along with ACORN as they are nothing but the same. Obviously they can't have the cake and eat it too.

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Charlie in Maine

    Here is the dirty little secret of the "Tea-Party": It is not about black and white it is about "Green". The average income of the Tea Party is over 100k per year. While they would like you to think they are "for the down trodden tax payer" they are not. In fact they a re trying to keep Bush's tax cuts for them alive that is their agenda.
    Ironically they are the ones who got bost of the Bush tax cuts and GW Bush carried their water for them for 8 long years (it is no wonder they miss him). Paying less in taxes while being represented more. Hey that's "Representation without taxation" kind of the opposite of the "Real Tea Party" huh?

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. billy Davis

    Bush expanded government spending, through away the constitution by trampling our rights and his type of free enterprise ran the economy in the ground. Where were the teabaggers then? Oh, Bush was white so it was okay for him to destroy the nation. The Black guy is trying to fix all those issues and they claim to want to take their country back. We know from the black guy. The NAACP called you out rightfully. By the way the article wasn't satrical in any way but, simply espousing the white racist attitude that somehow black folks are lazy and expect entitlements based on race. Gee, I've never worked anywhere where I wasn't the only black person or one of a few. I have worked in large companies where brothers, husbands and wives and even father and child worked and they were all white and in most cases unqualified.

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. david john

    if it looks and quacks like a duck it is in fact a duck.........these people are racists with more than just subtle indications of it......check out some of the signs and placards captured by the media at their past events, the epitaphs being slung and many of the "props" brought with them. their protestations denying the fact are feeble at best. they are way out of touch at the very least.
    come on guys............own up to it.

    July 16, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Travis In Colorado

    I think this is over the top and a waste of time. Everyone already considers the NAACP a joke, so no need to point that out. It's like telling a whale that it's huge.

    July 16, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. rob

    Finally someone or group of people is calling out the NAACP and any Racial Hucksters for what they are, they have become nothing but a political sledghammer for the Democrat Party. I say stay strong, don't back down because they call you Racist. The Democrat Party and groups like the NAACP have always resorted to this tactic to stifle opposition and speech they don't like.

    The Dems and their friends in the liberal Media have been trying to smear the Tea Party movement since it started but they will fail this time because American People see through the bias and can get real information and news from other Fair sources.

    The Liberal Media's monoply on on information is over and Nov. 2, can't come fast enough.

    July 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Dk

    “The days of labor being over, his hardiness is forgotten and he is labeled lazy. Lazy? Never mind that his reputation for hard work for its own sake had made him a highly sought after trade commodity,” she paused and squinted at me. “Remember he tamed the jungle and built highly organized empires. Now it’s harvest time, reaping time. He is beaten black and blue by laws written and unwritten.” Her eyes glowed like coals. “And called lazy. He is called stupid because his decency robs him of fangs and venom in a world where deceit is glorified. To those who listen, tell them the day of the stupid one cometh”

    from "of gods and negroes" by don kenobi

    July 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Bernice

    The tea party is made up of uneducated weak minded people ..try to ignore them..they'll slowly disappear...They are a dying breed

    July 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Erik

    So, per the quote below, what the tea party wants is money, money and no governement control to their greed (the same kind of greed that just crashed our economy)??!

    ""The tea party is a truly post-racial movement. Based strictly around the three simple principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market capitalism, the movement is uninterested and uninvolved in the politics of race," the co-founders of Tea Party Patriots wrote in an editorial published earlier this week."

    July 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Bill, Florida

    I agree that most folks in the TEA Party are interested in the core principles only; however, they really need to repudiate the racist elements within their movement if they want to be taken seriously at all. Perhaps they should start with Mark Williams and his blog post.

    Democrats have their own problems with bigotry as well. To be fair, everyone needs to back off, cool down and take a good, long look in the mirror. If we look just long enough, we might begin to see that we're all a part of the problem. Hatred and bigotry exists everywhere. The only question is will you let it control you, or will you control it?

    July 16, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. disgusted

    Why does Lloyd Marcus get so defense? maybe cuz he knows that the tea party is full of it! and full of racists! this brotha would be known as a house you know what back in the slave days! i'm disgusted by him and the tea party!

    July 16, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Justen Watkins

    Funny how the Tea Party Movement is being called racist, by Michelle Obama & NAACP, but Obama won't prosecute the New Black Panther Party members who intimidated white voters at the polls and said racial slurs like "Now you crackers are going to know what it's like to be ruled by a black man." Obama & the NAACP lost what credibility they had when they failed to denounce that behavior.

    July 16, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Jeff

    That's one of the most racist documents of the last 30 years. Wow. What's wrong with these Tea Party idiots?

    July 16, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. William

    People who constantly scream "RACISM, RACISM" are themselves racist.

    July 16, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Why is it that any critisim of the President is considered racist? Could it be that he is not up to the task of being President?

    July 16, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. GP

    Wow the Tea Party just turned something that the NAACP was stretching for into a reality. They just proved how racist they are as an organization. The hard work of the American slaves is what allowed the US to gain so much wealth which turned the US into 'the' world power.

    July 16, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. rick

    "Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true," Steele said in a statement....SInce when does Steele and the republican party care about comments being destructive or the truth. Both sides in this argument are extreme. They only listen to people who think like them, and believe that if they yell the loudest they are right. I used to like political discussion, now it is just disgusting.

    July 16, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. patriot

    Steele added, "Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor.
    ---------

    With the exception of the Banker this is bull – tea party is a bunch of old, white, well-off GOP racists who want theres and don't care about anyone else. period.

    July 16, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Jared

    Yeah, and Mel Gibson isn't a racist either...LOL.

    July 16, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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